China’s New Rules on Internet Cafes
By Linda
As reported by the Associated Press: “China has imposed strict new limits on Internet cafes, banning minors and demanding that operators keep records of customers and the information they access.

“The regulations, which take effect November 15, also impose tougher safety standards for the popular cafes that provide Internet access to users who pay by the session. Smoking is banned, no cafe can operate within 124 feet of a school, and the businesses must close by midnight, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

“Customers are also prohibited from viewing Internet sites offering gambling, pornography or prostitution.

“…But the new rules also reflect the fear of China's communist leaders that the Internet could nurture subversion.

“…Operators must keep records of users and the sites they access for two months and provide the information on request to police and regulators. Violators face fines equal to $1,800.

“…Already, China operates a special force to police the Internet for content deemed subversive. Scores of Web sites are blocked due to their content and the search engines Google and AltaVista have been blocked because they permit access to information on the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement and other sensitive topics…”

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